How to Pursue the Truth (17) Part Two

The truth “Your parents are not your creditors” is the correct principle of practice that people should understand when it comes to how they approach their parents. What is the other principle of practice? (Your parents are not the masters of your life or your fate.) Isn’t “Your parents are not the masters of your life or your fate” easier to understand and to let go of compared to “Your parents are not your creditors”? Outwardly, it appears that your parents gave birth to your fleshly life, and that it was your parents who gave you life. But, if we look at this from God’s perspective, and from the root of this matter, your fleshly life was not given to you by your parents, because people cannot create life. In simple terms, no person can create man’s breath. The reason why the flesh of each person is able to become a person is because they have that breath. Man’s life lies in this breath, and it is the sign of a living person. People have this breath and life, and the source and origin of these things are not their parents. It is just that people were produced by means of their parents giving birth to them—at the root, it is God who gives people these things. Therefore, your parents are not the masters of your life, the Master of your life is God. God created mankind, He created the lives of mankind, and He gave mankind the breath of life, which is the origin of man’s life. Therefore, isn’t the line “Your parents are not the masters of your life” easy to understand? Your breath was not given to you by your parents, and much less is its continuation given to you by your parents. God looks after and rules over every day of your life. Your parents cannot decide how every day of your life goes, whether each day is happy and goes smoothly, who you meet every day, or what environment you live in each day. It is merely that God looks after you through your parents—your parents are simply the people that God sent to look after you. When you were born, it was not your parents who gave you life, so was it your parents who gave you the life that allowed you to live until now? It still wasn’t. The origin of your life is still God, and not your parents. Say that your parents gave birth to you, but when you were one or five years old, God decided to take away your life. Could your parents do anything about that? What would your parents do? How would they save your life? They would send you to the hospital and entrust you to the doctors, who would try to treat your illness and save your life. This is your parents’ responsibility. However, if God said that this life and this person should not live, and that you should be reincarnated to another family, then your parents would have no power or means to save your life. They could only watch as your small life departed from this world. When a life is lost, they are powerless—all they can do is fulfill their responsibility as parents, and entrust you to the doctors, who would try to treat your illness and save your life, but it is not for your parents to decide whether or not your life goes on. If God says that you can go on living, then your life exists. If God says that your life should not exist, then you will lose your life. Is there anything your parents can do about that? They can only resign themselves to your fate. To put it plainly, they are just ordinary created beings. It is just that, from your perspective, they have a special identity—they gave birth to you and raised you, they are your bosses, and your parents. But from God’s perspective, they are just ordinary humans, they are just members of corrupt mankind, and there’s nothing special about them. They are not even masters of their own lives, so how could they be masters of yours? Although they gave birth to you, they do not know where your life came from, and they couldn’t decide in what time, in what hour, and in what place your life would arrive, or how your life would be. They do not know any of these things. For them, they are just passively waiting, waiting for God’s sovereignty and for His arrangements. Regardless of whether they are happy about it or not, whether they believe it or not, nevertheless, all of this is orchestrated and occurs within God’s hands. Your parents are not the masters of your life—isn’t this matter easy to understand? (It is.) Your parents gave birth to your flesh, but they did not give birth to the life of your flesh. This is a fact. Can your parents even control matters such as how tall you grow, what your physical constitution is like, what color or how dense your hair is, what your hobbies are, and so on? (No.) Your parents cannot decide whether your skin is good or bad, or what your facial features are like. Some parents are fat, and they give birth to children who are thin and short, with small noses and eyes. When people see them, they think: “Who do these children look like? They certainly don’t look like their parents.” Parents can’t even decide who their children look like, can they? Some parents have very robust bodies, and they give birth to very thin and weak children; some parents have very thin and weak bodies, and they produce incredibly robust children that are as strong as oxen. Some parents are as timid as mice, and they give birth to children who are extremely daring. Some parents are careful and cautious, and they birth children who are very ambitious, and in the end, some of them become emperors, some of them become presidents, and others become ringleaders of groups of bandits and rogues. Some parents are farmers, but the children they produce become high officials. There are also some parents who are deceitful, but they give birth to children who are well-behaved and guileless. Some parents are nonbelievers, or they may even worship idols and devils, and they birth children who want to believe in God, who cannot go on living without their faith in God. Some parents tell their children, “I’m going to send you to university,” and their children say, “No, I’m a created being, I must perform my duty!” The parents then tell their children: “You’re young, you don’t need to perform a duty. We perform a bit of our duties because we’re old, and we don’t have any prospects; we’ll earn some blessings for our family in the future, so you don’t have to. You have to study hard, and after you graduate from university, you have to go and become a high official, so that I can bask in the light with you.” Their children reply: “No. I’m a created being, performing my duty is the most crucial thing.” Of course, there are some parents who believe in God and renounce their families and give up their careers, but their children refuse to ever believe in God. Their children are unbelievers, and no matter how you look at these children and their parents, they do not resemble a family. Though they resemble a family in appearance, life habits, and even some aspects of their characters, in their hobbies, interests, pursuits, and the paths that they walk, they are completely different. They are simply two different kinds of people who walk two different paths. So, there are differences between people’s lives, and these are not determined by their parents. Parents can’t decide what kind of lives their children have, or what kind of environments their children are born into. Your parents are neither the masters of your life, nor the masters of your fate. Life is not given to people by their parents—is a person’s fate a greater matter or a smaller matter than their life? For people, these are both great matters. Why is that? Because these are not things that people can grasp, accomplish, or control using their instincts, abilities, or caliber. People’s fates and life trajectories are decided by and ruled over by God. No person can make any choices with regard to these two matters. It is neither you nor your parents who choose what family you are born to, or what parents you will have in this life. Your parents were also passive in birthing you. So, your parents cannot decide what the trajectory of your fate will be, they cannot decide whether you will be very wealthy and rich in your life, poor and lowly, or just an average person; they cannot decide where you will go in this life, what place you will live in, or what your marriage will be like, what your children will be like, or what kind of material environment you will live in, and so on. There are some people whose families thrived, had clothing and food, and more money than they could spend before giving birth to a child, but after it grew up, the child squandered their family’s fortune, and no matter how much money those parents earned, they couldn’t offset all the money that their spendthrift child was wasting. There are also some people who were poor, but a few years after they gave birth to a child, their family businesses started to thrive, their lives improved, things went increasingly smoothly, and their surroundings also got better and better. You see, these are all things that these parents didn’t expect, aren’t they? Parents can’t decide the fates of their children, and, naturally, they also have nothing to do with the fates of their children. The kind of path that you walk, where you go and what people you encounter in this life, how many disasters you face, how many great things and how much wealth come your way—all of these things have no relation to your parents, or to their expectations. Every parent wishes for their child to rise up in the world, but does this wish always come true? Not necessarily. Some children do rise up in the world, like their parents wanted them to, and they become high officials, get rich, and live well, but their parents fall ill and die within a couple of years without getting to enjoy any of this good fortune, or to bask in any of this light. Does a person’s fate have anything to do with their parents? No. It is not as if you can accomplish whatever your parents expect you to. A person’s fate has nothing to do with their parents, and a person’s parents cannot decide their fate. Even though your parents gave birth to you, and even if they did many things to lay the foundation for your prospects, your ideals, and your future fate, they cannot decide what your fate or your future life path will be like—these things have nothing to do with them. Therefore, your parents are not the masters of your fate, and they cannot change anything about you. If you are fated to be wealthy, then no matter how poor or incapable your parents are, you will gain the wealth that you are supposed to. If you are destined to be a poor person, an ordinary person, or a lowly person, then no matter how capable your parents are, they will not be able to assist you. If you are chosen by God, and you are one of God’s chosen people, that is, if you have been predestined by God, then no matter how powerful or capable your parents are, they won’t be able to obstruct your belief in God, even if they wish to. As you are destined to be a member of God’s house and one of God’s chosen people, you cannot escape from this. A person’s fate is only related to God’s sovereignty and God’s ordination; it has nothing to do with the wishes and expectations of their parents. Naturally, it also has nothing to do with that individual’s interests, hobbies, character, aspirations, caliber, or abilities. Therefore, based on the truth “Your parents are not the masters of your life or your fate,” how should you approach your parents’ expectations? Should you wholly accept them, ignore them, or approach them rationally? When it comes to the matter of your life or your fate, your parents are just normal people, they can expect whatever they want, and they can say whatever they want. Let them say what they want, you just do your own things. There is no need to argue with them, because however things truly are, that is how things will be. This does not arise out of debate, and it does not shift based on man’s will. You can’t decide your own fate, much less your parents! Isn’t that the case? (It is.) Even though your parents are your elders, they still have no relation or connection to your fate. Your parents should not try to dictate your fate just because they are so many years older than you, and because they are a generation older than you. This is irrational, and it is loathsome. Therefore, whenever your parents have something to say about the path you walk in life, or their expectations of you, you should approach it calmly and rationally, because they are not the masters of your fate. Say to them: “My fate is in God’s hands—no person can change it.” No person can control their own fate or that of another person, and your parents are also not qualified to do this. Your ancestors are not qualified to do this, let alone your parents. Who alone is qualified? (Only God.) Only God is qualified to rule over people’s fates.

Some people admit in theory that: “My parents cannot interfere with my fate. Though they gave birth to me, my life wasn’t given to me by my parents, it was given to me by God. Everything I have was given to me by God. God just raised me into an adult through them, and enabled me to live until now. In actuality, it was God who raised me.” They speak these words quite well and quite clearly, but under some special circumstances, people cannot overcome their affections, or acknowledge the statement: “Your parents are not the masters of your life or your fate.” Under certain special circumstances, people will be dominated by their feelings and fall into certain temptations, or become weak. Because they have suffered the persecution and condemnation of the government and religious world and been arrested and sent to jail, some believers in God resolve to never turn Judas, and to never betray any of their brothers and sisters, or any information about the church, no matter what kind of torture they suffer—they would rather die than turn Judas. As such, they are tortured and tormented to the point that they no longer resemble people, their eyes are so swollen that they become slits and cannot see clearly, their ears are deafened, their teeth are knocked out, the corners of their mouths break and bleed, their legs do not work well, their whole bodies are swollen and covered in bruises. But, no matter how they are tormented, they do not resort to betrayal—they are determined to not turn Judas, and to stand firm in their testimony for God. Up until now, they appear to be quite strong, and to possess testimony, don’t they? They went through torture and intimidation without turning Judas, and they were tormented like this for many days and nights. When a devil sees a man like this, it thinks: “This guy’s really tough, he’s been poisoned quite deeply. He really has been Godized. He’s so young, and he’s been tormented into a state like this without giving up so much as a word. What am I going to do about this? It appears that this guy is an important figure, he must know a lot about the church. If I can pry some information from his lips, we can arrest a lot of people, and make a lot of money!” Then the devil starts putting some thought into this: “How can I pry his mouth open, and make him give up some intel and inform on some people? Strong people all have their weak points—just like people who practice kung fu. No matter how good someone is at kung fu, they ultimately still have an Achilles’ heel. Every person has a weak spot, so let’s specifically attack his. What is his weak spot? I heard that he’s an only child, and that his parents have spoiled him since he was a child. I heard that they really care for him and love him dearly, and that he is quite filial toward them. If I fetch his parents, and get them to do some psychological work on him, maybe their words will be of some use.” Then the devil fetches his parents. Guess what happens as soon as he sees his parents? Before he saw them, he thought: “Oh God, I am determined to stand firm in my testimony. I absolutely will not turn Judas!” But as soon as he sees his parents, his heart comes close to breaking. The first thing he feels is, “I have let my parents down, it must be very painful for them to see me like this,” and then he breaks down. He still insists in his heart that: “I will not turn Judas, I must stand firm in my witness for God. I have not taken the wrong path, I am following the right path in life. I must humiliate Satan and bear witness for God!” In his heart he is firm, and insists on this repeatedly, but he cannot bear it emotionally, and in an instant his heart is close to breaking. How do you think his parents feel when they see that their child has been tormented into a state like this? I will not speak of his father, but the heart of his mother breaks. When she sees that her child has been tormented to the point that he no longer resembles a person, she feels great distress, discomfort, and pain, and she trembles as she walks toward him. How would you react, at a time like that? You wouldn’t dare to look, would you? See, you haven’t said anything, your parents haven’t said anything, but you would have already broken down, unable to overcome your feelings. You would think to yourself: “My parents are old, they’re not very well physically, and the two of them depend on each other to get by. They gave birth to a kid like me, and up until now I haven’t fulfilled any of their expectations, and I’ve caused so much trouble for them now, I’ve embarrassed them so much, and they’ve even had to come and see me in this state of suffering.” Imperceptibly, in the depths of your heart, you would feel that you were an unfilial child, that you had hurt and disappointed your parents, and that you had made them feel concerned and let them down. Both you and your parents would feel a great deal of agony, for different reasons. For your parents, it would be because they felt bad for you, and couldn’t bear seeing you suffer like that. For you, it would be because you saw how sad and pained your parents were, and you couldn’t bear to see them feeling sad and worried about you. Aren’t both of these the effects of feelings? Until this moment, this can all still be considered normal, and it would not have affected you standing firm in your testimony yet. Suppose that your parents were then to say: “You were so healthy and strong before, and now you’ve been beaten into a state like this. Since you were young, we’ve treated you like the apple of our eyes. We’ve never laid a finger on you. How could you let this happen to you? We’ve never wanted to hit you; we’ve always cherished and loved you—‘we’d cradle you in our mouths but for fear that you would melt, we’d hold you in the palm of our hands but for fear that you would break.’ We cherish you so much, but it’s not enough. It’s alright if you don’t take care of us, but now you’re refusing to hand over any information, you’re suffering so much, and not giving up despite being tormented into such a state because you believe in God and want to bear witness for Him. How could you be this stubborn? Why do you insist on believing in God? ‘Your body was given to you by your parents.’ Are you doing right by us by letting this happen to you? If something really were to happen to you, how do you expect the two of us to go on living? We don’t expect you to care for us when we’re old or to arrange our funerals, we just want you to be fine. You’re everything to us, if you’re not doing well, if you’re gone, how could we go on living the rest of our lives? Who else do we have but you? What other hopes do we have?” Every word of this speech would hit you where it really hurts, both satisfying your emotional needs, and stimulating your feelings and your conscience. Before your parents said these words, you were still holding on to your conviction and your stance in the depths of your heart, but after they spoke these words of reproach, wouldn’t the line of defense in the depths of your heart collapse? “‘Your body was given to you by your parents.’ You resigned from a good job, you abandoned your great prospects, and you gave up a good life. You insist on believing in God, and you’ve allowed yourself to be ruined like this—are you doing right by us?” Could any person refrain from crying after hearing this speech? Could anyone stop from rebuking themselves after hearing these words? Could they avoid feeling that they’d let their parents down? Could anyone sense that this was Satan tempting them? Could any person merely be affected emotionally by this, but still deal with it rationally? Could anyone maintain their belief in the statement, “Your parents are not the masters of your life or your fate, and they are not your creditors” after hearing this speech? Could anyone, despite feeling weak emotionally, refrain from abandoning their duty and obligation, and the testimony that a created being should stand firm in? Which of these things could you accomplish? If, in terms of your feelings, you were just a bit upset, even shedding some tears, and feeling bad for your parents, but you still had faith in God’s word, and still held to the testimony that you ought to stand firm in, and still held to the duty that you ought to perform, without losing the testimony, responsibility, and duty that a created being has before the Lord of creation, then you would be standing firm. But if, when you saw your mother tearfully reproaching you, you fell deeply into your feelings, thinking that you were unfilial, that you had made the wrong choice, feeling regretful and unwilling to keep going on, wanting to abandon the testimony that a created being ought to have, and the duty, responsibility, and obligation that a created being ought to fulfill, and return to your parents’ side, repay their kindness, and stop them for suffering or worrying anymore for your sake, then you would have no testimony, and you would be unworthy of following God. What did God say to those who follow Him? (Didn’t He say: “If any man come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26)? This line is in the Bible.) If your love for your parents exceeds your love for God, then you are unworthy of following God, and you are not one of His followers. If you are not one of His followers, then it can be said that you are not an overcomer, and God does not want you. Through this trial, you have been exposed, you have not stood firm in your testimony. You didn’t give in to Satan’s torture, but a few words of reproach from your parents were enough to make you yield. You are spineless and you have betrayed God. You are unworthy of following God and you are not His follower. Parents often say: “I won’t ask anything else of you, I won’t ask that you become very wealthy, I just hope that you will be healthy and safe in this life. Just seeing you be happy is enough.” So, when you’re tortured, you will feel that you have let your parents down: “My parents don’t ask much of me, but I’ve still failed them.” Is this thought right? Did you fail them? (No.) Is it your fault that Satan persecuted you? Is it your fault that you were severely beaten, tortured, and brutally persecuted? (No.) It is Satan who persecuted you, you did not ruin yourself. You are walking the right path, and you are being a true person. Your choices and all of your actions were bearing witness for God, and performing the duty of a created being. These are the choices that every created being ought to make, and the path that every created being ought to take. It is the right path; it is not ruining oneself. Though your flesh has been tortured, and suffered brutal, inhuman treatment, this is all for a just cause. It is not taking the wrong path, it is not ruining yourself. Your flesh suffering, being subjected to torture, and being tormented to the point that you no longer resemble a person, is not you letting your parents down. You do not need to give an explanation to them. This is your choice. You are on the right path in life, they just don’t understand, that’s all. They are just standing from the perspective of a parent, always wanting to protect you for the sake of their feelings, not wishing for you to suffer physical pain. What can their desire to protect you accomplish? Can they bear witness on your behalf? Can they perform the duty of a created being on your behalf? Can they follow God’s way on your behalf? (No.) You made the right choice, and you should stick to it. You should not be bewitched or misled by your parents’ words. You are not ruining yourself; you are walking the right path. In your perseverance and in all your actions you are holding to the truth, submitting to God’s orchestrations and arrangements, and bearing witness for God before Satan, bringing glory to God’s name. You have merely endured the suffering of the brutal persecution of your flesh, that is all. This is suffering that people should endure; this is what people ought to offer up to the Lord of creation, and it is the price that they should pay. Your life did not come from your parents, and your parents have no right to decide what path you walk. They have no right to decide how you treat your own body, or what price you pay in order to stand firm in your testimony. They merely do not wish for you to suffer physical pain due to the needs of their fleshly feelings, and due to the fact that they are standing from the perspective of fleshly feelings, that is all. But as a created being, no matter how much your flesh suffers, it is something that you ought to endure. People must pay numerous prices in order to achieve salvation and perform the duty of a created being well. This is the obligation and responsibility of man, and it is what a created being ought to dedicate to the Lord of creation. Because people’s lives come from God, and their bodies also come from God, this is suffering that people should endure. Therefore, when it comes to the suffering that people should endure, regardless of what kind of physical pain your body endures, you do not need to explain anything to your parents. Your parents say, “Your body was given to you by your parents,” but what of it? Though people are birthed and raised by their parents, it is not as if all that they have is given to them by their parents. It does not mean that people should be subject to their parents’ coercion and constraint when it comes to the path they walk and the prices they pay. It does not mean that people must obtain their parents’ permission in order to walk the path of pursuing the truth, or to perform the duty of a created being before the Lord of creation. Therefore, you do not need to give an explanation to your parents. The One you should be giving an explanation to is God. Regardless of whether you suffer or not, you should hand everything over to God. Moreover, if you are following the right path, then God will accept and remember all of the prices you’ve paid. Since God will remember and recognize them, those prices will have been worth paying. Your flesh will suffer some physical pain, but these prices will enable you to stand firm in your testimony in the end, to obtain God’s approval, and to attain salvation, and God will remember them. Nothing else can be traded for that. Your parents’ so-called expectations, or the words of criticism they speak to you, are insignificant and not worth mentioning when compared to the duty you ought to perform, and the testimony you ought to bear before God, because the suffering you endure is so valuable and so meaningful! From the perspective of a created being, this is the most meaningful and valuable thing in life. Therefore, people should not become weak and depressed, or fall into temptation because of their parents’ words, and they certainly should not feel regret, guilt, or that they have let their parents down because of their words. People should feel honored by the suffering they have endured, and say: “God chose me, and enabled my flesh to pay this kind of price, and to be violently abused by Satan, so that I could have the opportunity to bear witness for Him.” It is an honor for you to have been selected by God from among His numerous chosen ones. You should not feel sad about this. If you stand firm in your witness, and humiliate Satan, then this is the greatest honor in life for a created being. No matter what kind of ailments or aftereffects your body suffers after being brutally persecuted, or how much it hurts your family and parents to see you like that, you should not feel ashamed or upset, or that you have let your parents down because of it, because everything you have done was paying a price for a just cause, and this is a good deed. No person is qualified to criticize your good deeds, no person is qualified or has the right to make irresponsible, critical remarks or judgments about you believing in God, following God, and performing your duty. Only the Lord of creation is qualified to judge your behavior, the prices you have paid, and the choices you have made. Nobody else is qualified to judge—none of them, including your parents, are qualified to criticize you. If they are the people closest to you, they should understand, encourage, and comfort you. They should support you in persevering, standing firm in your testimony, and refraining from conceding or yielding to Satan. They should feel proud and happy for you. Since you have been able to persevere until now and not yield to Satan so that you may stand firm in your witness, they should encourage you. They shouldn’t hold you back, and they certainly shouldn’t reproach you. If you did something wrong, they’d be qualified to criticize you. If you took the wrong path, humiliated God, betrayed positive things and the truth, then they’d be qualified to criticize you. But since all of your actions were positive, and God accepts and remembers them, if they criticize you, it is because they cannot discern between good and bad. They’re the ones who are wrong. They are upset about you believing in God, walking the right path, and being a good person—why is it that, when Satan persecutes you, they do not criticize it instead? They are criticizing you because of their own feelings—what did you do wrong? Didn’t you just refrain from turning Judas? You didn’t turn Judas, you refused to cooperate or compromise with Satan, and you suffered this torture and inhuman treatment in order to stand firm in your witness—what’s wrong with that? You did nothing wrong. From God’s perspective, He rejoices for you, He feels proud of you. And yet, your parents feel ashamed of you, and criticize your good deeds—isn’t this confusing white for black? Are these good parents? Why don’t they criticize Satan, and the evil people and devils that are persecuting you? Not only do you not receive any comfort, encouragement, or support from your parents, on the contrary, you are criticized and scolded by them, while no matter what evil Satan does, they do not condemn or curse it. They do not dare to say one word of verbal abuse or reproach to it. They do not say: “How could you torment a good person into this state? All they’ve done is believe in God and take the correct path, right? They haven’t stolen anything or robbed anyone, they haven’t broken any laws, so why have you tormented them like this? You should be encouraging people like them. If everyone in society believed in God and walked the right path, then this society wouldn’t need laws, and there wouldn’t be any crime.” Why don’t they criticize it like this? Why don’t they dare to criticize the Satans and devils that persecuted you? They reproach you for walking the right path, but when evil people commit evil deeds, they just tacitly approve of them. What do you think of these parents? Should you feel bad for them? Should you show them filial piety? Should you love them in your heart? Are they worthy of your filial piety? (No.) They are not. They cannot distinguish right from wrong, or good from evil. They are a pair of muddled people. Aside from feelings, they don’t understand anything. They don’t understand what justice is, or what walking the right path means, they don’t know what negative things are, or what evil forces are, they only know to safeguard their feelings and their flesh. Aside from this most superficial level of fleshly relationships, their hearts only contain the idea that: “As long as my children are safe and well, I’ll be very happy and grateful.” That is all. When it comes to the right path in life, just causes, or the most valuable and meaningful thing a person can do in this life, they don’t understand any of these things. They do not understand these things, and they scold you for following the right path—they really are incredibly muddled. What do you think of these parents? Are they not a pair of old devils? You must ponder in your heart: “These two old devils—until now I’ve suffered so many beatings, and so much torture, over these days I’ve been praying to God all day and night, and He has been looking over me and keeping me, that is why I’ve been able to survive until now. I’ve stood firm in my witness with great difficulty, and in a few words you’ve completely denied it. Is it wrong for me to walk the right path? Is it wrong for me to perform the duty of a created being? Surely it isn’t wrong for me to have not turned Judas? These two old devils! ‘Your body was given to you by your parents’—everything I possess clearly came from God, was it you who gave it to me? It is just that God ordained that you would birth and raise me, bringing me up by your hands. You feel distressed about me, and pained and upset just to satisfy your emotional needs. You’re afraid that if I die, there’ll be no one to take care of you when you’re old or to arrange your funerals. You’re afraid that people will laugh, and think that I’ve embarrassed you.” If you went to jail because you had committed a crime, because you stole something, or you robbed, cheated, or scammed someone, they might fight for you, saying: “My child is a good kid, they haven’t done anything bad. They don’t have a bad nature, they’re good and kind. It’s just that the evil trends of this world have had a negative influence on them. I hope that the government will be lenient on them.” They’d fight for you, but because you are walking the path of belief in God, because you are walking the right path, they disdain you from the depths of their hearts. In what way do they disdain you? “Look at the state you’ve gotten yourself into. Are you doing right by us?” You should think in your heart: “What do they mean by ‘Look at the state you’ve gotten yourself into’? I am just walking the right path in life—this is called being a true person! This is called possessing good deeds and testimony; this is strength. Only people like this truly possess conscience and reason, and are not cowards, good-for-nothings, or Judases. What state have I gotten myself into? This is true human likeness! Not only are you not happy for me, you’re reproaching me—what kind of parents are you? You’re unworthy to be parents, you should be cursed!” If you think in this way, would you still cry when you heard your parents say: “Your body was given to you by your parents, how could you let yourself be ruined like this”? (No.) What would you think after hearing that speech? “What a load of nonsense. They really are a pair of old nitwits! ‘Your body was given to you by your parents’—you don’t even know who gave you your bodies, and you use these words to reproach me, how truly muddled you are! It is clearly the devils and Satans who are persecuting me. How can you confuse white for black and criticize me instead? Did I break the law? Did I steal something or rob someone, did I cheat or scam somebody? What laws did I break? I didn’t break any laws, I’ve been persecuted to a state like this by Satan because I follow the right path. I haven’t betrayed a single word until now, I haven’t turned Judas—who else possesses this kind of strength? Not only do you not praise or encourage me, you reproach me. You’re devils!” If you think in this way, you will not cry or become weak, will you? Your parents do not know right from wrong, they confuse white for black, because they do not believe in God, and they do not understand the truth. You understand the truth, so you should not be influenced by those devilish words and fallacies that they speak. Instead, you should continue holding to the truth. In this way, you will truly be standing firm in your testimony. Is that not the case? (It is.)

Tell Me, is it easy to stand firm in one’s witness? First, you must break free from your feelings, second, you must understand the truth. Only then will you not experience any weakness, be able to stand firm in your witness, and be recognized and accepted by God under these kinds of special circumstances; only then will God acknowledge you as an overcomer and His follower. When you have prevailed, when you have not failed God, instead of not having failed your parents, you’ll be able to let go of all of your parents’ expectations for you, right? Your parents’ expectations are not important, they do not matter; living up to God’s expectations, and standing firm in your testimony for God are the most important things, they are the attitude and pursuits that a created being ought to have. Is that not the case? (It is.) When you are feeling weak, when you lose your way, especially when you are besieged and persecuted by Satans while following the right path, or spurned, mocked, and rejected by the people of the secular world, those around you—your relatives, friends, and acquaintances—will think that you have done something embarrassing, and no one will understand, encourage, support, or comfort you. Much less will anyone assist you, show you the way, or point out the path of practice. This includes your parents. Since you are not by their side, showing them filial piety, or since you are not able to help them live well or repay their kindness because you are believing in God and performing your duty, they won’t understand you. Their perspective will be the same as that of people in the secular world—they will think that you have embarrassed them, that they haven’t gotten anything in return for raising you, that they’ve received no benefits from you, that you haven’t fulfilled their expectations, that you have failed them, and that you are an uncaring ingrate. Your parents will not understand you, and they will not be able to give you any positive guidance, to say nothing of your relatives and friends. While you are walking the right path, only God is tirelessly encouraging, assisting, comforting, and supplying you. When you are being tortured and tormented in jail, only God’s word and the faith that He has given you will sustain you through every second, minute, and day. So, when you are enduring severe beatings, you will be able to keep wanting to stand firm in your witness for God, to keep refraining from turning Judas, and to keep wanting to bring glory to God’s name and humiliate Satan, because of God’s word and the faith that God has given you. You will be able to do these things in one respect because of your resolve, and in another, more important respect, because of God’s guidance, keeping, and leadership. Whereas your parents, when you most need comfort and aid, still only think of themselves, saying that you are an uncaring ingrate, that they can never count on you in this life, and that they’ve raised you for nothing. They still do not forget that they raised you, that they wished to count on you to help them live a good life, to bring glory to your ancestors, and to enable them to hold their heads up high and feel proud of you in front of their relatives and friends. Parents who don’t believe in God never feel honored and fortunate on account of your belief. On the contrary, they often reproach you for not finding the time to visit or care for them because you believe in God and are busy performing your duty. Not only do they reproach you, they often scold you, calling you an “uncaring ingrate” and a “thankless child.” Don’t you feel that it is hard for you to walk the right path while bearing these bad names? Don’t you feel wronged? Don’t you need your parents’ support, encouragement, and understanding while experiencing these things? Don’t you often feel that you have failed your parents? Consequently, some people even have some foolish thoughts: “In this life, I have not been fated to show my parents filial piety or to live with them. I’ll show them filial piety in my next life, then!” Isn’t this thought foolish? (Yes.) You should not have these thoughts; you should resolve them from their root. You walk the right path, you have chosen to perform the duty of a created being, and to come before the Lord of creation to accept God’s salvation. That is the only correct path in this world. You have made the right choice. Regardless of how much those who do not believe, including your parents, misunderstand you or feel disappointed by you, this should not impact your choice to walk the path of believing in God or your resolve to perform your duty, nor should it impact your faith in God. You should persevere, because you are walking the right path. Even more so, you should let go of your parents’ expectations. They should not become burdens for you while you are walking the right path. You are following the right path, you have made the most correct choice in life; if your parents don’t support you, if they always scold you for being an uncaring ingrate, then you even more so ought to have discernment of them, and let go of them on an emotional level, and not be constrained by them. If they do not support, encourage, or comfort you, you’ll be okay—you won’t gain or lose anything with or without these things. What’s most important are God’s expectations for you. God is encouraging you, supplying you, and guiding you. You are not alone. Without your parents’ expectations, you can still fulfill the duty of a created being all the same, and upon this basis, you will still be a good person. Letting go of your parents’ expectations does not mean that you have lost your ethics and morals, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you have forsaken your humanity, or morality and justice. The reason that you haven’t lived up to your parents’ expectations is because you chose positive things, and you chose to perform the duty of a created being. There’s nothing wrong with this, it is the most correct path. You should persevere and remain firm in your belief. It is possible that you will not obtain your parents’ support, and certainly not their blessings, because you believe in God and are performing the duty of a created being, but this doesn’t matter. This is not important, you have not lost anything. The most important thing is that when you chose to walk the path of belief in God and of performing the duty of a created being, God began to have expectations and high hopes for you. While living in this world, if people stray from their friends and relatives, they can still live well. Of course, they can live normally after straying from their parents too. It is only when they stray from God’s guidance and blessings that they fall into darkness. Compared to God’s expectations for people and His guidance, parental expectations are simply insignificant and not worth mentioning. Regardless of what kind of person your parents expect you to be, or what kind of life they expect you to live on an emotional level, they are not guiding you along the right path, or the path of salvation. Therefore, you should reverse your point of view, and let go of your parents’ expectations from the depths of your heart, and on an emotional level. You should not continue shouldering this kind of burden, or feel at all guilty toward your parents because you have chosen to perform the duty of a created being. You haven’t done anything to let anyone down. You chose to follow God and to accept His salvation. This is not letting your parents down, on the contrary, your parents should feel proud and honored that you have chosen to perform the duty of a created being and to accept the salvation of the Creator. If they cannot do this, they are not good people. They are not worthy of your respect, they are even less worthy of your filial piety, and, of course, they are even less worthy of your concern. Is that not the case? (It is.)

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